William Cutlip, For the Ukiah Daily Journal
POSTED: 06/30/15, 8:21 AM PDT
There were any number of great moments at the 20th annual Kate
Wolf Music Festival held this weekend in Laytonville, none of
them better than any other. Seriously: How can you rank a lineup
that included Angelique Kidjo, Charlie Musselwhite, Roy Rogers,
The Wailin Jennys, Judy Collins, Holly Near, and Smokey
Robinson? It was a highlight reel of highlight reels, a string
of superlative performances by top-drawer artists.
But the most poignant performance had to be that of Dan Hicks.
Just before the festival, visitors to the alt-folk icons
web site were greeted with the words Dear Hixters At Large
The best made plans are sometimes intercepted by unforeseen
forces. Unfortunately this indeed applies to the present Hot Licks
touring schedule. Ill health has befallen me again. This time
in the form of liver cancer. I firmly believe that the proper
treatment will take care of this problem but good. In the meantime
were putting the Hot Licks gigs on hold until perhaps late
summer doing a few local things for now. Who knew? Certainly
not me until recently. So thanks for the support and well
see ya soon. Yours, Dan H.
a number of us festival goers okay, me in particular,
a Dan Hicks devotee since the mid 70s approached
this show with a certain amount of nervousness: Is our pal Dan
And the answer came at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday: Dan is okay. He
looked thin, his voice was not all that strong (and really,
whos voice is at 74?), but he clearly had a lot of fun,
and unlike Judy Collins and Smokey Robinson, he remembered all
Hicks sat in a chair for the most part, but he managed to do
a few dance moves during an inspired and hilarious rendition
of I Scare Myself (a song about well,
everything, said Hicks in his intro), and just generally
shone on the guitar and vocals.
was a memorable moment in a fabulous festival. Yeah, it was
a little warm highs were in the mid 90s on Friday and
Saturday, 90 on Sunday and shade was at a premium. But
attendance reportedly was the highest in the history of the
festival, and the lineup was the best anywhere: One of the benefits
of living in a part of the world where most people would live
if they had the choice.
And it was a festival that could boast a performance by the
amazing Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks. What more could you want?